An Island Interlude
"I can't believe I let Carly talk me into wearing this." Jason complained. He and Sonny were standing at the foyer. Jason tugged at his tie. Both men were wearing white dinner jackets and dark pants.
They had spent the Friday night and all day Saturday just relaxing. At Carly's insistence, tonight, Saturday, they were having a late night, formal, sit down dinner.
"It's not going to kill you to put on a suit this once. Carly wanted to do something special. Considering the schemes we both know she can come up with, this is harmless." Sonny said. He swatted at Jason's hand and laughed. "Quit messing with the tie. Do you know how long it took me to get that right on you?"
"Harmless. Yeah. Like a grenade with its pin pulled. Why don't you just have me shot? It would be easier." Jason muttered.
Then the two women were in the doorway.
"You said something about a grenade?" Sonny murmured. "Badda-Boom."
Sonny and Jason stared in silent appreciation. Both women were wearing filmy, floor length gowns that seemed to float about them as they moved. Carly, cool in white and shimmering silver; the pale fabrics making a ethereal backdrop for her smoldering brown eyes and deep honey-golden hair. Eliana, beside her, her tawny skin lustrous and simmering against white and dark gold. Both women were breathtaking.
"You are both looking stunning this evening, ladies." Sonny said as he came forward and kissed both their hands before slipping an arm around Carly's waist. He looked down at his wife. "So what other surprises do you have for us?"
"You'll just have to wait and see. This way." She led the way outside.
Jason had stayed rooted in one spot. He had never seen Eliana like this before, and the sight of her literally took his breath away. Her shoulders were bare and her skin glowed against the soft white and gold spangled fabric of her gown. Eliana hadn't bothered with much makeup tonight, just a little mascara and eyeliner, and a soft, deep crimson lip color that made her lips enticingly red. She smiled at him tentatively.
At Carly's words, he caught himself and seeing Sonny offer Carly his arm, stepped forward and did the same.
"You're looking very beautiful this evening." He said quietly.
Eliana was uncommonly pleased by the simple praise. "So are you." It was true.
Carly led them around the house to where a gazebo extended from the main house extended on a boardwalk towards the beach. There were lit torches all around. The sound of the ocean was their background music. A single servant waited to serve the meal from a sideboard.
They relaxed over dinner. Carly had arranged the menu. Steamed lobster and chicken cordon bleu with a mornay sauce, salad with a light vinaigrette, wild rice and mushrooms and flan for dessert.
"What?" Carly said as the menu surprised everyone. "Were you expecting fried chicken tenders and potato salad?" The looks on everyone's face said exactly that and Carly laughed. "Surprise!" Even Sonny could find no fault with the meal and said so. Dinner passed delightfully with lighthearted conversation. By unspoken agreement, nothing was said about Port Charles and all the issues there to be dealt with. After the flan was served and the waiter was dismissed, Sonny made sure everyone's wineglass was full again before making an announcement.
"This is as good as time as any to say this." All eyes turned to him as he stood. "I'm not much on words…"
"Since when?" Carly mock whispered to Jason and Eliana.
He grinned at her, but went on. "I just want to tell you, that with the exception of Michael upstairs…and well, his namesake back in the States…the people with me here are the people I care most about in the world. My wife and my best friend; my brother…and my sister."
He looked directly at Eliana. "The DNA test results came in. It says that it is ninety-nine point nine percent proof positive that you and I are brother and sister."
Eliana, looking across the table with new eyes at the man she could now truly call brother. And she wasn't ashamed. She was proud.
In a dangerous world, Sonny has chosen a dangerous path. But there are always those who march to a different drummer. Sonny was a man of honor. Loyal, selfless. Capable of love. She watched him as he looked over at Carly and smiled to see the love in each other's eyes as they looked at one another. Then he turned back to her. And she saw all he felt for her.
Sonny looked at the younger woman who looked upon him with shining eyes. No blame, no censure in them. She saw all that he was and accepted - no, welcomed him - into her life. The emotion he felt for her was reflected in her eyes. He watched as she lifted her crystal flute, the torchlight catching its curves and bevels.
"To my brother." She stood and touched her glass to his. Eliana looked around the table, realizing that these three people were, indeed, her family. "To mi familia."
"Mi familia." Sonny said, raising his glass. Carly and Jason echoed him. Suddenly they were all standing and the four of them touched glasses.
Carly pressed a remote control and the liquid guitar music of Santana fills the air,. "Dance with me, Mr. Corinthos." She pulls Sonny to her and outside the gazebo to the deck. She turned back to Jason and Eliana. "And don't the two of you dare to sit there and let this beautiful evening go to waste." She waved a hand towards the full moon and sparkling night sky. "I ordered this especially for tonight."
She mock-glared at them then gave them a dazzling smile just before Sonny swept her in his arms. Jason sighed.
"She's not going to let this go, is she?" Eliana muttered to Jason.
"No, I'm not." Carly overheard her and answered for herself.
Shaking his head and looking exasperated but smiling anyway, Jason stood up and offered Eliana his hand. "Would you like to dance?" he asked.
She slipped her hand into his. "I'd love to."
He swung her into his arms and they began to move in the rhythm of the dance. Eliana teases him that his tie looks uncomfortable. When he admits that it is, she loosens it for him, and goes so far to undo the first few buttons on his shirt. It was meant as a joke, but once her fingers brush against the bare skin of his throat, the flare up of desire that had been making itself more and more aware everytime they touched, stills their laughter. She looks up into his eyes and cannot read them. Jason has automatically put up his defenses, without even realizing why.
Feeling his body stiffen suddenly, Eliana hesitated, not understanding the reason for his withdrawal. She gathered her nerve and decided to be truthful about what she was feeling. "I've missed you." she whispered.
Jason shifted his fingers so that they were laced with hers. His other arm tightened around her. "I missed you too."
Eliana didn't know what else to say, so she let the music speak for her. She let her body sway gently against his, relaxing into him. His sharp intake of breath told her that he was very much conscious of the feel of her body against his.
Does he know what him being near me does to me? She wondered.
She had no idea that Jason was feeling very much the same.
The four of them returned to the table, drank more champagne, talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company. Later on, Jason and Carly danced.
"Carly, what are you up to?" Jason asked. He knew when Carly got that certain look in her eye that she was about to, or had already embarked on one of her famous plans.
"Don't even begin to try that innocent eyed act with me. If it never worked all these years, why do you think you have a chance in hell of it working now?" Jason said. He tried to sound stern, but ended up smiling at her in spite of himself.
"You must think I'm blind, if I can't see the attraction between you and Eliana." Carly said. "I'm just helping things along."
"For God's sake, Carly, don't help anything along."
"I didn't notice you denying it." Carly grinned triumphantly.
Sonny asked Eliana to dance with him later on as well. As he whirled her around the small deck, studying her as she laughed up at him. He realized that he hadn't seen her this carefree since her attack. She seemed to have put the effects of her ordeal behind her. Carly had been right; the visit to the island has been good for Eliana. There was a sparkle in her eyes and in her laughter that he hadn't seen in a long time.
She raised her eyes to his, suddenly studying him as intently as he had been studying her. "What is it, Sonny?" she asked.
He stopped dancing and drew her a little further along the deck walkway. Normally glib and at ease with speaking, he looked down on her and found himself hesitating. "I wanted to… ask for your forgiveness. I betrayed your trust in me." He said. "I wanted to say that to you, face to face."
"No." she said. His heart sank. Of course. He deserved no less. Her next words surprised him. "No, Sonny, because you don't need my forgiveness."
Eliana saw in his face that he didn't believe her. She remembered what Carly had told her about Sonny's inability to forgive himself and told him so. She slipped her arm through his and turned him around so that they could see Jason and Carly still laughing and talking as they danced. "You see them? You, me, Carly and Jason. Michael upstairs. We're your family. And family forgives all." A long ago bible lesson from her childhood came to mind then, and she quoted it to him. " 'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.' "
"There is no record of wrongs between us." Her voice changed. Now it was mockingly scolding, even while her eyes told him how serious she was. "Never ask me for forgiveness again, you hear me? I won't forgive you if don't."
Sonny just looked down on her in amazement. How does she do it, how does she give her heart, forgive, so easily? That was a question for another day, another time. It was enough, for now, that she did forgive him. His heart swelled with unfamiliar emotion as he continued to look down at her.
"You and I, we'll talk another time, just the two of us." She said, reading his expression easily enough. "After all, we've got a lot to catch up on. And a lifetime to do it in. There's time for all the questions in the world." Is this how brothers and sisters were? She wondered. She'd never gotten that sense with her and Eduardo. They'd always been adversaries, competitors for their parents' affections and praise. But there was a connection between her and this man that let her empathize with him.
On impulse, she leaned in close and brushed her lips against his cheek, smiling as his arms tightened around her in response. "Come on," she said. "Let's get back to the party." She led him back to the others, releasing his arm as she crossed the deck to Jason and Carly. Sonny followed her, smiling at Jason as he reached out for his wife's hand and swirled Carly away in a spin.
"Well, Mr. Corinthos?" Carly said.
"Well, Mrs. Corinthos?" Sonny looked down at her. "What is it?"
"Aren't you going to tell me what a success tonight was?"
"Absolutely." Sonny said. Sonny bent down and whispered in Carly's ear. "But it's not over yet, is it?"
Carly's eyes sparkled as she gazed back up at him. "Not by a long shot."
Sonny twirled Carly around once again, then grabbing hold of her waist, lowered her body in a long dip, then brought her up slowly, holding her soft curves close to him. He bent his head to hers again, this time, grazing the delicate curve of her ear with his lips. "Well, then, what are we waiting for?"
"Well boys and girls, we're about to say goodnight for the evening. I hope you two enjoy the rest of the night. Together." Carly says to Jason and Eliana. Sonny smiled and added his own goodnights, and the two of them started back to the house. Carly pulled away from him suddenly and moved quickly to the CD player. "Have a last dance, and now you two play nice, okay?" She quickly punched a series of controls, then turned to Jason and Eliana with a wide smile, adding wickedly. "This should help."
"Carly!" Sonny said, a warning note in his tone that barely concealed his laughter. When would she ever stop trying to throw the two of them together?
"Yah, yah, Corinthos, I'm coming."
Carly caught up with Sonny, and taking him by the hand, led him into back into the house and to their suite. Sonny shrugged out of his jacket. Carly came to him and loosened his tie.
"You looked ridiculously handsome tonight." She said as she slowly drew the tie from around his collar and undid the top button of his dress shirt, her fingers moving to caress his skin. "As much fun as we had this evening, I almost couldn't wait for tonight to be over."
"Me either." Sonny said. "Tonight was very nice, but I thought it had only just begun." His eyes already had begun to darken in anticipation. When he would have drawn her closer into his arms, she came to him eagerly enough, but just for a moment. Carly allowed him one kiss, then pulled away teasingly. Grabbing his hand again, she pulled him outside to their private terrace and pushed him down onto one of the lounge chairs. Sonny looked up at her, his gaze turning puzzled when she didn't join him.
"You stay right there, Sonny Corinthos, until I come back for you." Carly commanded. She stared down at him until he nodded.
"Fine." He smiled at her lazily, with a dark smoldering glance that promised all sorts of things, "You can be in charge - this one time."
She made a face at him. "Don't think I don't know how hard that is for you either -control freak that you are." She stuck the tip of her tongue out at him briefly and enticingly, then spun away laughing, as he made a half-hearted grab at her. "Be good." She insisted.
"I'm better than good. If you would just come here…."
He smiled at the sound of her laughter as Carly disappeared back through the double doors. Sonny lay back in the chaise, staring up at the night sky, enjoying the rare moment of total relaxation. He let the sounds of the ocean lull him. This had been a perfect time for him; had been almost from the moment they'd arrived. They had just walked into the house when Michael had woken up from his nap and was coming down the stairs holding Leticia's hand.
"Unca Sonny!" he'd cried out happily. As soon as he'd reached the bottom, he'd come flying across the foyer. Sonny knelt and held out his arms, as Michael barreled into them. "Missed you, Unca Sonny." Michael said as he snuggled into him. Sonny swung him up and hugged him back just as tightly.
"I missed you too, little man." He whispered into his ear. Jason was next in line for a hug. The three of them trooped off to the kitchen for a snack, then the rest of the afternoon had been spent on the beach, building sandcastles and walking along the shore, watching Michael as he scampered along the ocean's edge, scooping up its treasures and racing back to show him.
Later, there was Carly's happiness when she'd seen him, followed by a joyful evening spent with friends and family, a rare moment when he was finally able to totally relax, to just enjoy the moments as they happened, A quiet evening, filled with nothing but small talk and laughter with no late night interruptions, no phone calls in the middle of the night to drag him back into the streets where he ruled and warred, all in their turn.
The second day was more of the first, made even more perfect waking up next to Carly, content to just lie there, watching her face bathed in golden dawn light. There was a peacefulness in her face that was different here. And now, for a moment, he could pretend to be just a man waiting for his woman to come to him. He smiled to himself again. Then it faded as suddenly as it had come. Enjoy this, the thought came unbidden; Enjoy it while you can. Because it never lasts.
The stars were shimmering overhead, blazing in all their glory. As Sonny gazed up into the night sky, he could feel the presence of the Infinite and even as a part of him asked forgiveness for the many sins in his life, he thanked whatever Power there was above, for the blessing of love that was in his life, giving silent thanks for the peace of the here and now, knowing that he didn't deserve it.
Carly stood just inside the doorway, watching her husband as he gazed up into the night sky. She couldn't see his face, but the way his body rested on the oversized lounge, every line of his lithe body loose, she could tell he was at peace. And she knew what a rare thing that was.
"Sonny." Carly's voice came to him as gentle as the shifting open breezes. Sonny turned his head to see her standing in the doorway. Her gown was like the deep blue of the night sky, and her skin glowed like moonlight.
"So I finally get to see my present." He said, coming smoothly to his feet.
With a slow smile, she held out her hands to him. "Well, here it is…aren't you going to come over here and unwrap it?" Sonny moved quickly to close the little space between them and took her hands in his own. He looked down to see the stars reflected in her eyes. They stood that way for a little while, content to just look into one another's eyes.
Carly led him back inside. The lights were all extinguished, the room dim except for the pale moonlight washing through the French doors. Sonny briefly wondered why, but Carly drew him on, into the spacious bathroom, and he had his answer. Every available space was covered with lit candles, and the water was filling the huge garden tub.
"The first time I saw it, I though this bathroom was the most self-centered, narcissistic room I'd ever seen." Carly said. Sonny hadn't gone up much in her estimation back then; she'd thought he was completely arrogant and self-absorbed and this extravagance only underscored it. But that was before she'd come to know him. "But that was before you let me use it."
It was true. The room was self-indulgent in the fullest sense. A second door led to the other facilities, but this room was all about the bath. Tiled in varying shades of dark blues from the floor to ceiling, where it met a skylight directly over the tub itself that let the star and moonlight stream down. The tub itself was the biggest she'd ever seen; so large so that one stepped down into it. There was a shelf close at hand filled with a staggering array of scented bath oils and beads. Carly had already chosen a favorite scent and the sensuous scents of musk and sandalwood filled the air.
In the flickering candlelight, Carly began unbuttoning his shirt, pushing his hands away when he would have moved to help. "Uh-uh, baby…this is all about you." She smiled up at him. " Just relax."
He did just that, while Carly removed his clothing, letting her hands move slowly over his body as she did so. Only when he was bare to her gaze did she step back and remove her own. She led him down into the water. Carly lay back, then motioned for Sonny to come and rest against her, with his back to her. He did so willingly, catching ahold of her arms to draw them around his body. He settled back against her, closing his eyes.
At first, they were content to rest without talking, in one another's arms, letting their thoughts drift as the warm water caressed their skin. After a little while, Carly reached for a sponge and Sonny's favorite soap and lathering it up, began to cleanse him. She took her time, drawing the soapy natural sponge first across his chest then moving downward, enjoying the feel of the soap and his skin. Sonny relaxed even more, closing his eyes and concentrating on the feel of Carly's hands as she ministered to him. Her touch, the feel of her hands on him…
Later, before the water cooled, they made slow, languid love to the sound of the distant ocean. Under the cool light of the silver moon, their bodies and souls came together in that ancient dance of love and desire, rediscovering all the things that gave one another pleasure, all the things that spoke of their love.
Carly knew that there had been danger in Port Charles, danger that Sonny would never tell her about; but she knew, that for now, it was over…Sonny knew equally that the danger that was his life was only on hold...this was just a sweet interlude…however brief. From the bath, they moved to the bed, the sweet, familiar ache of their lovemaking taking on an exquisiteness that neither of them had experienced since their first nights of making love. Afterwards, they lay drowsily content in each other's arms, and then, much later on, they loved each other again, outside under the night sky.
The stars had moved more than halfway across the sky before they were resting once more on the chaise on the terrace again, this time wrapped in a single blanket. Sonny held Carly in his arms, feeling her breathing slow and deepen as she slipped towards sleep. His heart felt so full at this very moment, that he thought that it might burst. But then, like the first dark cloud of an incipient storm, thoughts of Mitchell drifted at the edges of his mind. Instinctively, his arms tightened around Carly.
"Sonny?" she stirred, responding to his embrace.
"What sweetheart?" he brushed his lips against her hair.
"Did I thank you for coming down to the island?"
"I think you did, querida, several times, in fact." Feeling her body quiver as she let out a drowsy laugh, he smiled. Sonny moved his hand caressingly across her face and slipped two fingers under her chin. He let his mouth claim hers again, kissing her with deliberate gentleness, savoring her sweet taste. He felt her hand come up to tangle in his hair as she responded.
"Mmm..." She said when she could breathe again. "Do you have any idea of what you do to me when you kiss me like that?"
"Do you have any idea of what you do to me when you kiss me like that?" he answered.
Carly snuggled back down into his arms. "I never thought I would ever be so happy. That I would ever feel so at peace. Promise me it will never change. If we ever have problems, I want us to remember the island. We can always find our love here."
"Our love is wherever we are. What we got, is forever. To death do us part. I promise, querida," Sonny said, meaning it with all of his heart. "Forever."